Sunday, January 17, 2016


Sheldon Rempal scored his 50th of the season - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Sheldon Rempal scored his 50th goal of the season and Devin Brosseau scored twice as the Nanaimo Clippers dropped the Express 5-2 Sunday afternoon. Click here for boxscore

The loss was the third straight for the Express all at home after starting their seven game home stand with a three game winning streak.

Mat Michie - Photo courtesy of Damon James
The Express knew they had to keep a close eye on the line of Rempal, Devin Brosseau and Spencer Hewson. As a result they were matched up most of the night against the Mat Michie, Jack Surowiec and Cam Bertsch line. That line did a good job getting in their face and limiting their chances in the first period.

A hard fought and evenly played first period came to an end scoreless.

It was a much different story in the second period.

Will Reily opened the scoring for Nanaimo on the power play pinching in from the right point.

This game was one of the more emotional games seen in the BCHL this season. As a result there were plenty of penalties.

Two quick Nanaimo infractions gave the Express a 5 on 3 power play for 1:41. Just 30 seconds into the power play the Express pulled even as Charlie Barrow's point shot was tipped past Evan Johnson.

50 seconds later still on the power play the Express struck again. Jackson Cressey sent the puck down low to Austin McIlMurray who zipped a pass across to Colton Kerfoot who buried it giving the Express their lone lead briefly.

1:11 after Kerfoot's goal, Rempal and Brosseau broke out on a two on one, with a chance to snap home number 50 on his stick, Rempal dished a perfect pass to Brosseau who converted to tie the game at two.

Alex Ambrosio - Photo courtesy of Damon James
Then on Brosseau's next shift he struck again. His original shot deflected wide of the Express net. He then picked up the puck behind the net and bounced it in off Tyger Howat to restore Nanaimo's lead at 3-2.

There were a number of lengthy scrums and pushing of shoving at various times after the whistles in the game. One late in the 2nd period resulted in a Nanaimo power play.

That power play saw Devin Brosseau set up Sheldon Rempal who scored his 50th goal of the season in his 45th game giving the Clippers a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.

The Express did strike twice on the power play. But they allowed other key opportunities to slip through their hands that could have helped their cause. They had back to back powerplays in the opening 5 minutes of the third period but were unable to score and cut into the Clipper lead. Then after another scrum in front of the Clippers bench resulted in the Express receiving a second lengthy two man advantage this time for two minutes but they couldn't repeat their second period magic.

Mitch Newsome - Photo courtesy of Damon James

Gavin Gould rounded out the scoring in the third period bouncing the puck in off Tyger Howat for his first Clippers goal in similar fashion to Brosseau's second of the game.

Evan Johnson in the Nanaimo crease had a very solid night finishing with 37 saves to earn the victory.

The seven game home stand for the Express wraps up Friday vs. the Wenatchee Wild with the Express looking to come out of it with a winning record. 

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